Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bright Ideas~ High Frequency Word Practice

Hi Everyone!  Welcome to the Bright Ideas Blog Hop!  There are 186 fab bloggers participating in the hop- wowsers!  No links, no products, just great ideas!
Special thanks to the wonderful Shelley Gray from Teaching In the Early Years for organizing this amazing hop!

High frequency words (sight words) are so important to young readers.  This idea is a way to make sure your struggling readers have a way to practice and truly learn those words that are often hard to sound out.
This is an easy idea to
 use with any high frequency word list.

First, assess your students on your word list.  I like to highlight the words they can't read in 3 seconds or less.

Then, I create word rings.  I select 3-5 words to put on the first ring with the label "Words I'm Learning to Read."
(see sample labels below)

The other rings will have the other two labels and I will tell about them below.

I write the words on index cards and attach to the ring.   Having a small amount of words on the ring makes the activity quick (3-5 words).  Either a parent helper or I will pull the kids to read the words.  If the child can read the word in 3 seconds or less, a colored dot is put directly on the card.  When the card has three dots, that card is moved to the next ring.

Now ask the child to spell the same word orally.  If the child is successful, put a new dot in a new color.  Once the child can spell that word orally three times, the word is moved to the last ring.

The last step is to have the child write the word on paper or a dry erase board.  Put three more dots in a new color to keep track of mastery.  When the card has 9 dots, it can be placed loosely in the bag to revisit every once in a while.  All the rings can be put in the same ziploc bag for each child.

Why all the rings?
This gives the child 9 opportunities to master each word in a variety of ways: sight (reading), orally (spelling out loud), and kinesthetic (writing).

I hope this was helpful to you!  I'd love to hear how you tackle the tough high frequency words!

It's now time to hop on to your next destination!  You will visit my bloggy friend Jessica at The Littlest Scholars where she will tell you about movin' to learn using brain breaks! Fun!
The Littlest Scholars

If you'd rather, you can go directly to an idea that interests you!  See all Bright Ideas below!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


  1. Awesome idea! I'm going to try this at home with my son!

    1. Yay! It works and the kids really improve their sight word recognition! Thanks Erin!

  2. This sounds awesome! Do you check students on each set weekly? I guess I am confused about what the checking process looks like. Check reading, then spelling, then writing?

    1. Hi Ashley! Great question! The check-in process would be what ever you have time for. Ideally I like to pull each student daily, but that isn't always possible. I have a basket with all the ziplocks and whenever I have a parent helper, they take the basket and go through all the rings in each bag with each student. Not all my students have a bag as many of my second graders are fluent with sight words. I have about 5 students a year who need this extra practice. :)

  3. I have a small group that really need this!! Thanks for the great idea!

    Corinna (✿◠‿◠)
    Surfin' Through Second

    1. Awesome! So glad you found it helpful Corinna! :)

  4. Such a specific, structured system - I really like this for our little guys. I'm going to share it with my teachers!

    Buzzing with Ms. B

  5. I would like to know if we can get a copy of your card covers??

  6. I would like to know if we can get a copy of your card covers??

  7. LOVE how you break it down into different skills so they can really feel success!!! Thanks for sharing, Tori!!!
    :) Lisa
    Growing Firsties

  8. This is a best practice from Orton-Gillingham, a program for struggling readers and children with dyslexia. I have been doing this for a long time, but never considered putting the cards on rings! What a fabulous way to stay organized! I always had separate envelopes.

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